An old conflict between bottom line and human lives

Friends and relatives gather at a burial site for some of the 112 victims of a fire at a Bangladesh garment factory. (AP)

Friends and relatives gather at a burial site for some of the 112 victims of a fire at a Bangladesh garment factory. (AP)

A little over a hundred years ago, a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York killed 146 workers. Many of the victims had tried to flee but were prevented from doing so by exits that had been locked by management. Scores of people died as they fell or jumped from windows to escape the flames, plummeting to the ground from the 10-story building.

The tragedy proved to be an important turning point, helping to lead to passage of tougher workplace safety and fire laws, as well as creation of labor unions in the garment industry. (As someone who covered the 1980 MGM Grand fire in Las Vegas that killed 85, and who witnessed the adoption of much tighter fire-safety rules as a result, I know how that dynamic works. Even after the MGM tragedy, Nevada’s powerful casino industry resisted fire-code changes as too expensive, changing its tune only after a second fire a few months later, this one at the Las Vegas Hilton, killed eight people.)

Now, a century after the Triangle factory fire, an all-too-similar scenario is playing out on the other side of the globe. On Nov. 25, 112 garment workers died in a fire in a high-rise factory in Bangladesh that had little or no fire-protection measures. In September, two similar fires in garment factories in Pakistan had killed almost 300 people.

It is not, in other words, a new problem. As Bloomberg reports, Wal-Mart, Gap and other companies that rely on such factories have been well aware of the dangers they represent. Wal-Mart in fact had technically ended its relationship with the Bangladesh factory where the most recent fire occurred, but the company also now acknowledges that Walmart goods were still being produced there because a supplier had “subcontracted work to this factory without authorization and in direct violation of our policies.”

Overall, however, the companies have been reluctant to help pay for necessary safety upgrades:

At a meeting convened in 2011 to boost safety at Bangladesh garment factories, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. made a call: paying suppliers more to help them upgrade their manufacturing facilities was too costly.

The comments from a Wal-Mart sourcing director appear in minutes of the meeting, which was attended by more than a dozen retailers including Gap Inc. (GPS), Target Corp. and JC Penney Co…

“Specifically to the issue of any corrections on electrical and fire safety, we are talking about 4,500 factories, and in most cases very extensive and costly modifications would need to be undertaken to some factories,” they said in the document. “It is not financially feasible for the brands to make such investments.”

But hey, at least it’s cheaper to do business under those conditions, right? Fewer of those pesky government regulations and inspectors to cause trouble? Paying a few pennies more per clothing item just to save a few hundred lives … “It is not financially feasible for the brands to make such investments.”

From the Forbes listing of the 400 richest Americans

From the Forbes listing of the 400 richest Americans

– Jay Bookman

455 comments Add your comment

Finn de Siècle (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

December 6th, 2012
12:40 pm

Help the workers? Pahleaaaaaassssseeeee

Corbin Sharpe. Baby Boomer leech...and earned it!

December 6th, 2012
12:43 pm

If there really is a heaven and a Hell, then there just has to be a special place in hell for people like the waltons.

Corbin Sharpe. Baby Boomer leech...and earned it!

December 6th, 2012
12:44 pm

Bottom line over human lives…pro life, right?

Finn de Siècle (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

December 6th, 2012
12:45 pm

Maybe the third world workers are about to go through the pain of what American workers went through from 1850-1950.

Butch Cassidy (I)

December 6th, 2012
12:47 pm

I get it now, the Republicans are against regulations because it’s just too costly to ensure people survive a day on the job. Nice.

guy

December 6th, 2012
12:47 pm

But it’s ok to kill babies in the womb? You can’t have it both ways,jay and the gang!

Willydoit?

December 6th, 2012
12:48 pm

So once again, it’s rich Americans that are at fault with everything bad that happens in the world.

STUPID LIBERAL

December 6th, 2012
12:49 pm

That fire which occurred 146 years ago was also Bush’s fault.

Patrick

December 6th, 2012
12:50 pm

But, but, but…. JOB CREATORS!!!!

Patrick

December 6th, 2012
12:50 pm

WEALTH ENVY!!!!

Finn de Siècle (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

December 6th, 2012
12:51 pm

Serbia’s ambassador to NATO was chatting and joking with colleagues in a multistory parking garage at Brussels Airport when he suddenly strolled to a barrier, climbed over and flung himself to the ground below, a diplomat said.

That’s a bit odd.

Patrick

December 6th, 2012
12:51 pm

IF PEOPLE CHOOSE TO BE POOR AND WORK IN A FACTORY WITH SAFETY ISSUES IT IS THEIR OWN FAULT!!

nofreecheese

December 6th, 2012
12:52 pm

Is it not culturally imperialistic to impose our safety regulations on other nations?

@ Corbin Sharpe: If there is a “special place in hell for the Waltons” it’s probably air-conditioned, beautifully furnished and decorated, and Satan personally serves them.

STUPID LIBERAL

December 6th, 2012
12:53 pm

If we just borrowed more money from China, we can avoid the fiscal cliff completely.

getalife

December 6th, 2012
12:53 pm

“It is not financially feasible for the brands to make such investments.”

Bad business decision due to greed is when governments clawback some of those billions.

Patrick

December 6th, 2012
12:54 pm

THEY SHOULD PULL THEMSELVES UP BY THEIR BOOTSTRAPS AND GET A BETTER JOB MANAGING A HEDGE FUND WITH A WALL STREET FINANCIAL FIRM!!

Logical Dude

December 6th, 2012
12:55 pm

It’s a process. A Tragic process, but still a process. Companies go by margins, so it’s a risk vs margin type of deal.
How many fires have occurred in the past 5 years?
How many fires are expected to occur in the next 5 years?

Even IF money was allocated at that meeting to upgrade those factories, would it have prevented THIS fire? (does anyone know the cause?)

Alas, the next step is the companies learning that yes, it IS worth it to upgrade those factories. Of course, they should have known before and reduced the risk for the sake of the workers, but that part is hindsight now.
We’ll see if they’ve actually learned and will upgrade factories to actually be safer.

Joe Hussein Mama

December 6th, 2012
12:55 pm

Willydoit — “So once again, it’s rich Americans that are at fault with everything bad that happens in the world.”

Nope. It’s rich Americans not wanting to take a hit to their wealth for the benefit of those whose labor MAKES them rich in the first place.

STUPID LIBERAL

December 6th, 2012
12:55 pm

Not enough babies being born in the United States ? Just legalize gay marriage, that should fix the problem.

getalife

December 6th, 2012
12:57 pm

Pot is legal today.

Smoke up cons.

You need it.

STUPID LIBERAL

December 6th, 2012
12:57 pm

In order to fix a recession caused by the housing industry, we must force everyone to buy health insurance.

Mr. Snarky

December 6th, 2012
12:57 pm

Its the workers’ fault…what a bunch of takers.

Joe Hussein Mama

December 6th, 2012
12:58 pm

L. Dude — “It’s a process. A Tragic process, but still a process. Companies go by margins, so it’s a risk vs margin type of deal.
How many fires have occurred in the past 5 years?
How many fires are expected to occur in the next 5 years?”

I can’t disagree. I once saw a corporate VP ask “how much would it cost to fix and how much would the fine be” when he was asked to authorize expenditures to address a data security hole in his company’s processes.

Mr. Snarky

December 6th, 2012
12:59 pm

Sounds like “STUPID LIBERAL” is just stupid…trying to change the subject, naturally.

Erwin's cat

December 6th, 2012
12:59 pm

how much of that liability lay at the feet of consumers wanting cheaper and cheaper crap from walmat and company?

STUPID LIBERAL

December 6th, 2012
1:00 pm

If my name was “Smart Liberal”, then that would be an oxymoron. :)

ITS ALL BUSHS FAULT

December 6th, 2012
1:01 pm

CONS ARE YOU READY FOR ANOTHER BUTT KICKING YET?

getalife

December 6th, 2012
1:02 pm

If you want to know why cons are irrelevant now, just read stupid’s comments.

Paul

December 6th, 2012
1:04 pm

All those major suppliers would share in the costs. It’s not as if one retailer would be at a distinct disadvantage for the same product. Heck those guys all buy from the same factories, then set their own prices according to how ‘upscale’ they are and who they’re appealing to.

Personal greed’s the only explanation I can see.

Madmax

December 6th, 2012
1:04 pm

How’s that Obama foreign policy working out?
Per Hillary:
However, speaking to a group of lawyers and civil society advocates on the sidelines of an international human rights conference, Clinton took aim at what she described as a new wave of repressive tactics and laws aimed at criminalizing U.S. outreach efforts. The trends are indicative of a larger reversal of freedoms for citizens of Russia, Belarus, Turkmenistan and other countries that emerged from the breakup of the Soviet Union two decades ago.

“There is a move to re-Sovietize the region,” Clinton lamented.

“It’s not going to be called that. It’s going to be called customs union, it will be called Eurasian Union and all of that,” she said, referring to Russian-led efforts for greater regional integration. “But let’s make no mistake about it. We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it.”

“It’s distressing that 20 years into the post-Soviet era … so many of the hoped-for indicators of progress are retreating,” Clinton said. “And the impact on individuals and organizations is becoming more oppressive.”

The problem is compounded by America’s limited influence with some governments, she added.

In Belarus, “we have struck out so far,” Clinton said.

Ukraine, she said, is “one of our biggest disappointments.”

And in Turkmenistan, the U.S. raises human rights issues all the time. “We get no response,” she said.

Speaking later to the 57-nation OSCE, Clinton offered more muted criticism of Russia.

She reiterated concerns about a new Russian law that requires organizations and journalists receiving foreign funding to register as “foreign agents,” a move the U.S. believes is designed to stifle internal criticism of President Vladimir Putin’s government. His foreign minister, Lavrov, was in attendance.

Perhaps she should go back to some Reagan terminology “the evil empire”?

Mr. Snarky

December 6th, 2012
1:05 pm

“If my name was “Smart Liberal”, then that would be an oxymoron.”

Hilarious. What’s more likely is that you just don’t get it.
“What a maroon.” as Bugs Bunny would say.

Jay

December 6th, 2012
1:05 pm

“how much of that liability lay at the feet of consumers wanting cheaper and cheaper crap from walmat and company?”

In the end, Erwin, an awful lot of it.

Native Atlantan

December 6th, 2012
1:05 pm

Stupid Liberal might as well be Nero, Oops, Ben Shockley or one of the other trolls who swoop in every couple of minutes and crap all over the place…..

STUPID LIBERAL

December 6th, 2012
1:05 pm

Yes, lets all of us band together, and have the government steal money from those people who work for living, and give it to those who do not. Do not disagree with me, or you will be labelled a racist. Now Support Our President !

Brosephus™

December 6th, 2012
1:06 pm

how much of that liability lay at the feet of consumers wanting cheaper and cheaper crap from walmat and company?

Excellent question and I think it shines a light on the overall problem. When wages are stagnant and don’t have as much buying power, you have to buy cheaper to live or buy on credit. We’ve recently seen where buying on credit leads to. Buying cheaper has meant the loss of jobs for us. From the way I see it, it’s all a stagnating circle of depression that we’re not going to easily excape due to the global economy.

Madmax

December 6th, 2012
1:06 pm

getalife

December 6th, 2012
12:57 pm

No, I see what it did to your brain and I don’t want to go there.

Jay

December 6th, 2012
1:07 pm

Liberal, you may force me to invoke an old and seldom-used rule limiting you to two off-topic comments in the first 100 posts….

getalife

December 6th, 2012
1:08 pm

Madmax,

Yeah, I am the one ignoring these deaths and cowering to Russia.

CJ

December 6th, 2012
1:08 pm

My family has been boycotting Wal-Mart for years, and it seems like every time we turn around, they give us a new reason to continue doing so. The people who run the place are sociopaths.

stands for decibels

December 6th, 2012
1:09 pm

Jay, that final graphic in your post literally had me close to vomiting.

Welcome to the Occupation

December 6th, 2012
1:10 pm

how much of that liability lay at the feet of consumers wanting cheaper and cheaper crap from walmat and company

It’s the fundamental blackmail on which the world capitalist order is built. Consumerism, low prices, driven by the ever shrinking incomes among the majority of the population.

Consumers happy to have a Wal-Mart around to buy things dirt cheap at, but failing to realize that the Wal-Martization of their economy is undermining their standard of living more generally.

King of Planet Kolob

December 6th, 2012
1:10 pm

Word to those who always complain about “Regulations”. Regulation is always too expensive. Human life is cheaper. Also cheaper to donate to campaign contributions to protect the 2% and not the other 98% of us.

Brosephus™

December 6th, 2012
1:10 pm

Jay @ 1:07

An even better idea would be to get your IT department to install an ignore button/option on the AJC blogs to avoid even having to deal with stuff like that. The WaPo just got that feature added to their comment sections on their site.

stands for decibels

December 6th, 2012
1:10 pm

Did they teach you native Georgians about the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in school?

Somehow I’m thinking not.

stands for decibels

December 6th, 2012
1:11 pm

An even better idea would be to get your IT department to install an ignore button/option on the AJC blogs to avoid even having to deal with stuff like that.

I’ve been pleading with Jay to put a clown filter in these threads for years, now.

I’d also prefer actual threading, so that one could easily skip past the rabbit holes.

oops

December 6th, 2012
1:12 pm

Butch Cassidy (I)

December 6th, 2012
1:12 pm

So let me see if I follow this logic. A family that is collectively worth 107 billion dollars decides that the cost to upgrade a factory at a cost of $500,000 per factory or 22.5 million (estimated) is just not “financially feasible” What, does reducing ones lifestyle to a mere 106 billion and some change really cause that much of a hardship?

Welcome to the Occupation

December 6th, 2012
1:13 pm

Decibels: “Jay, that final graphic in your post literally had me close to vomiting.”

Had you not heard about those figures before?

The Walton family alone has wealth equivalent to the bottom 40% of the US population, if I’m not mistaken.

A quite stunning fact when you really step back and ponder it.

Good we threw off those royalist chains. Otherwise we’d not have ever tasted freedom, right?

oops

December 6th, 2012
1:13 pm

“If the president’s proposal was made in good faith, Democrats should be eager to vote for it,” he added. “So I’m surprised the majority leader just declined the chance for them to support it with their votes.”

Reid, a Nevada Democrat dismissed McConnell’s request as yet another example of GOP “obstruction.”

—-

democrats live in fantasy land

deegee

December 6th, 2012
1:13 pm

American CEOs will tell you that they were forced to go overseas because their tax burden became so onerous. The sight of 112 caskets and graves tells a different story. The sad truth is that they don’t care if people are incinerated in factories or if they throw themselves off of buildings in despair. Safety is not first and that’s why manufacturing jobs left the USA.

King of Planet Kolob

December 6th, 2012
1:14 pm

To repeat a point I made on an earlier topic, This is also in addition to us taxpayers subsidizing the Walton’s employees through Govt. assistance.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

December 6th, 2012
1:14 pm

So many have forgotten why unions were originally created and the failures of the “free market” to address issues like this.

On the good news side, Apple says it plans on bringing back some of its manufacturing but notes that skills have left the US and the education system stopped producing workers with the skills needed.

DannyX

December 6th, 2012
1:15 pm

Hey Jay, $27 billion doesn’t go as far as it used to.

Brosephus™

December 6th, 2012
1:16 pm

dB

Add me to the list that wishes for a clown filter.

getalife

December 6th, 2012
1:16 pm

Apple moving making computers back to the USA.

Butch Cassidy (I)

December 6th, 2012
1:16 pm

“Sprinklers cost money, Bangladesh locals are cheap.”

-Wal Mart-

stands for decibels

December 6th, 2012
1:17 pm

Decibels: “Jay, that final graphic in your post literally had me close to vomiting.”

Had you not heard about those figures before?

Of course I had. But the timing, the juxtapositioning with the outright lies these plutocrats spew–it got to me, is all.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

December 6th, 2012
1:17 pm

And while Walmart may claim plausible deniability in the choice of a supplier, there will be many who have worked with them that will tell you that is a load.

Fly-On-The-Wall

December 6th, 2012
1:17 pm

The thing that protected American workers was the rise of unions from situations like the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and other similar events. But somehow unions are bad things when they help protect the worker.

I know unions have gone too far in some cases but without them we will continue to have these types of tragedies around the world. I think the world can and should model their workplace after how the German’s have done theirs. The German economy is one of the strongest and they also have very strong unions. Go figure, both can coexist.

Welcome to the Occupation

December 6th, 2012
1:19 pm

CJ: “My family has been boycotting Wal-Mart for years, and it seems like every time we turn around, they give us a new reason to continue doing so. The people who run the place are sociopaths.

No not really. They’re just good capitalists.

Morality?

December 6th, 2012
1:19 pm

Socialists always look for the next confiscation … after all taxation IS “redistribution of the wealth”.

getalife

December 6th, 2012
1:19 pm

I heard a politician say we need to do something about Wal Mart and now I know why.

This is how regulations are added.

Butch Cassidy (I)

December 6th, 2012
1:19 pm

So in regard to the Bangladesh tragedy. Can one assume that this is what the Romney/Ryan team had in mind when preaching the virtues of “unbridled capitalism”?

Fly-On-The-Wall

December 6th, 2012
1:19 pm

Sociopathic Capitalists

stands for decibels

December 6th, 2012
1:19 pm

how much of that liability lay at the feet of consumers wanting cheaper and cheaper crap from walmat and company?

Of course it’s all connected. But if we’re going to branch out with the liability, why not go to Congress, which has been so ideologically bound to the Austerity gods that they won’t free up money to put people to work, which in turn keeps wages artificially low, which means people don’t really have THAT much of a choice if they’re going to try to keep everyone in the family clothed and fed.

Sure, they can take baby steps–at least, say, shop at Costco rather than WallyWorld. But do you really expect masses of people to take that kind of ideological step in their workaday world? How many Americans even know about this particular tragedy, do you think?

Nero

December 6th, 2012
1:20 pm

Jay,

Don’t defend an anti-Semite through moderation. He knows exactly what he did.

joe

December 6th, 2012
1:21 pm

Here’s a great illustration of this issue. Say you have a house with two huge problems. The first issue is the wiring is not up to code. The wiring works, but is outdated and needs to be upgraded. The second issue is the foundation has a huge crack and the entire house is in danger of falling apart.

Which issue in your opinion is more important to fix first? You are dependent upon the electrical wires to keep your HVAC working and your family kept warm and your refrigerator powered, but your house will eventually fall without a foundation fix.

This is where we are as a country. Our house will fall down and we will be Greece if our foundation isn’t fixed. A complex issue, but one where the writing is on the wall.

gadem

December 6th, 2012
1:21 pm

lazy takers…if they could only pull themselves up by their bootstraps

Brosephus™

December 6th, 2012
1:22 pm

why not go to Congress, which has been so ideologically bound to the Austerity gods that they won’t free up money to put people to work

Because Congress doesn’t work for the benefit and betterment of America as much as they work for the benefit and betterment of their financiers.

Real Scootter

December 6th, 2012
1:22 pm

Serious question y’all.

Wouldn’t it be the burden of the factory owner to make the place safe?
Or,are the retailers the owners? :???:

getalife

December 6th, 2012
1:22 pm

So when the cons blame government for regulations, they ignore they are added because of tragedies like this one.

stands for decibels

December 6th, 2012
1:23 pm

If you haven’t read that Bloomberg story Jay linked to and quoted from, you really should.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-05/wal-mart-nixed-paying-bangladesh-suppliers-to-fight-fire.html

Morality?

December 6th, 2012
1:23 pm

Sounds like Jay wants a gub’ment take over of Wal-Mart. Another brilliant idea from Jay – the socialist philosopher

Butch Cassidy (I)

December 6th, 2012
1:24 pm

“Yes I know you lost 10 relatives in that fire, now get back to work. I need 150 pairs of Faded Glory jeans by the end of the day!!!!”

-Wal Mart-

They BOTH suck

December 6th, 2012
1:24 pm

Walmart heirs involved in the business, top shareholders and board members should be ashamed of themselves.

I understand the argument of consumers wanting cheaper goods, but in the end no consumer or consumer group forces Walmart or any company along with their suppliers to cut corners that could lead to potential tragedies.

They all employ directly or indirectly (usually both) risk managers that make assessments as to risk, cost, etc on all facets of their business.

Welcome to the Occupation

December 6th, 2012
1:24 pm

Fly-On-The-Wall

The truce between capital and labor lasted here in the states (with some major exceptions) from 1945 to about 1975.

In Germany capital-labor relations have a different history, obviously, resulting in a very different arrangement in the present, but they have managed for the time being at least to maintain an alliance (mandated by law in part) based on Germany’s export-based economy.

But in part that alliance conceals the troubling emergence of a shadow economy since the Schröder years that is based on part-time/temp contracts with no protections and significant restrictions on access to the social safety net. So in the long run, the breakdown of the capital-labor truce will affect Germany too.

Corbin Sharpe. Baby Boomer leech...and earned it!

December 6th, 2012
1:24 pm

Sometimes I wonder if our country hasn’t turned to a new chapter in its history and is beginning to become a corporate-owned police state.

Morality?

December 6th, 2012
1:27 pm

Gub’ment politicians are bought and paid for by lobbyists. It costs billions to get elected Prez. Your $50 donation won’t be enough.

tm

December 6th, 2012
1:27 pm

I think it would have been cheaper to provide protection to the people in Benghazi. But only 4 died in that protest.

Nero

December 6th, 2012
1:28 pm

getalife,

Do you think Sheldon bought them off too?

getalife

December 6th, 2012
1:29 pm

It is not about sheldon con.

Focus on the issue.

getalife

December 6th, 2012
1:30 pm

Enter your comments here

Matti

December 6th, 2012
1:30 pm

I refused to shop at WalMart years before it was cool to refuse to shop at WalMart.

oops

December 6th, 2012
1:30 pm

Keep Up the Good Fight!

December 6th, 2012
1:31 pm

a Wal-Mart director of ethical sourcing — From the article cited by Stands and Jay

:lol: now there is an oxymoron…..

getalife

December 6th, 2012
1:31 pm

Or Benghazi con.

Morality?

December 6th, 2012
1:31 pm

If you don’t like Wal-Mart why do you go there? Let’s see – they have what you want and it costs less – right? Are you willing to give that up and buy from MOM and POP? Let’s see how your moral outrage is effected when YOU have to sacrifice something yourself.

Regnad Kcin

December 6th, 2012
1:33 pm

Thank gods for the unions!

Morality?

December 6th, 2012
1:33 pm

Yeah you refused to shop at Wal-Mart years ago – but Target’s O.K.

Sagegirl

December 6th, 2012
1:33 pm

Walmart isn’t doing the American worker much of a favor either considering the wages they pay are so low that many of them have to get gov assistance to buy food for their families. Sad, stingy, greedy people, yet they smile brightly for the camera.

Darwin

December 6th, 2012
1:33 pm

Jay – You hear about the disabilities amendment with a UN banner that would help ensure that other countries would try to accomodate people with disabilities in the workplace, etc? Republicans shot it down. Another UN conspiracy.

Mick

December 6th, 2012
1:33 pm

Can someone here tell me anything that mitch mcconnell has actually accomplished besides obstruct? He is the worst of the worst and an embarassment to both the united states and kentucky.
Kentucky, please stifle or ditch mitch in 2014! Isn’t there a cozy think tank opening somewhere in D.C. or the red states???

Brosephus™

December 6th, 2012
1:34 pm

If you don’t like Wal-Mart why do you go there?

I don’t like Wal Mart, and I don’t shop there. I usually go to either Mom/Pop stores or I go to chains that franchise out, like Ace Hardware. I try to keep my money local.

Morality?

December 6th, 2012
1:35 pm

Thank gods? What gods are you thanking – like UNION bosses are Greek gods or maybe just thugs.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

December 6th, 2012
1:37 pm

So Morality has confirmed that its not really the consumer’s fault. Walmart drives the low prices as part of their corporate policy and size not consumers.

But its clear that Morality has not read the linked story and its explanation of what occurred.

Welcome to the Occupation

December 6th, 2012
1:37 pm

Not mentioned in the post above is the non-insignificant fact of what exactly awaits anyone who tries to organize and make changes on behalf of workers in Bangladesh: you lose your life.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/world/asia/bangladeshi-labor-organizer-is-found-killed.html

DHAKA, Bangladesh — A labor activist who was arrested two years ago for his role in protests against low wages in Bangladesh’s garment industry was found murdered outside this city last week, labor rights advocates and the police said on Monday.

The killing of the activist, Aminul Islam, marks a morbid turn in the often tense relations between labor groups, on one side, and Bangladesh’s extensive garment industry, which makes clothes for Western companies like Walmart, Tommy Hilfiger and H&M. In 2010, Mr. Islam, a former textile factory worker, was arrested and, he and other labor activists said, was tortured by the police and intelligence services.

..

getalife

December 6th, 2012
1:38 pm

nero,

At least you are not focused on the fiscal cliff but you need to get on topic.

Mick

December 6th, 2012
1:38 pm

Union bosses can’t hold a candle to corporate thugs. I rarely if ever go to a walmart, I’m not a supporter of their imbalanced upward flow of wealth…

Citizen of the World

December 6th, 2012
1:38 pm

Remember back when Walmart was first starting to work its way into little towns all over America and it promised that it would only sell Made in America goods? Then, of course, once it got established it not only went back on that promise, it started demanding such low prices from manufacturers that to comply they were forced to shut down their factories in America and set up shop in China, India, etc. I’m sure they would have loved to tell Walmart, no thanks, we’ll just sell our goods elsewhere. But since Walmart had run all the other stores out of business….

STUPID LIBERAL

December 6th, 2012
1:39 pm

Can I get back to blaming Bush now ? Or am I still in Time out ?